Google Demanded Federal Contracts Without Proper Security Certification
Microsoft has complained that Google, who has demanded that they be included in tendering for a $60 million contract with the US Department of Interior, did not have the proper security certification at the time.
The claims result from unsealed court documents from a November court case Google filed against the U.S. Department of the Interior, including a brief from the Department of Justice (DOJ) that said, "Notwithstanding Google's representations to the public at large, its counsel, the GAO and this Court, it appears that Google's Google Apps for Government does not have FISMA certification",
"We did not mislead the court or our customers," protested Google's Enterprise team head David Mihalchik. "Google Apps received a FISMA security authorization from the General Services Administration [GAO] in July 2010. Google Apps for Government is the same system with enhanced security controls that go beyond FISMA requirements,". "As planned, we're working with GSA [U.S. General Services Administration] to continuously update our documentation with these and other additional enhancements."
However simply having one subset certified does not mean the whole product was certified.
"Just because you're certified with one system doesn't mean you're certified with others," said Retallack.
"That's not the way that the government works," said Retallack. "That would be like saying that because an electrician had met code on one house, he was certified for all the houses he built. Based on my experience with the government, each system certification is an individual process."
Contrasting Google’s fumbles with Microsoft’s years of experience, he notes : "Microsoft, like a lot of other federal contractors, has many, many years of experience with the federal government and contracts, and has a very large contingent dedicated to that,". "What strikes me about Google is that their capabilities here may not be as complete as Microsoft's, and that got them into a little bit of trouble. They may have things to learn."